22 December 2008

European Space Agency Director of Science and Robotic Exploration visits ACSE

Professor David Southwood

The Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering has hosted a visit by the Director of Science and Robotic Exploration for the European Space Agency - Professor David Southwood.

During the visist Professor Southwood gave a seminar on Space in a Modern Society, the outline of which is given below:

"With the start of the space age, both the universe and the Earth changed or, at least, mankind's perception of both dramatically changed. 50 years on we can wonder at the vast increase in our knowledge of the Earth, solar system, and the stars and galaxies that access to space has provided. Space did indeed give us our first capacity to look at our own planet in a truly global manner. It even allowed to manage things on a global scale. Who would have predicted in 1957 that now we would use space to navigate our cars? Not many. However, at the same time, how many back then would have been sure that by now we would have had a base on the Moon? Quite a few, no doubt. What then is space about: exploration, exploitation, inspiration, education, knowledge? And, why does a developed nation need to care?"